President’s statement “does not imply partition of Kosovo”Source: Danas
BELGRADE -- Serbian President Tomislav Nikolić’s statement on Kosovo does not mean that he advocated the partition of Kosovo, the president's office told daily Danas.
The Serbian president said, among other things, that he “he will never again be president in Priština, but the president of the interim authorities in Priština will also never be president in Kosovska Mitrovica”.
The president’s office explained that Nikolić wanted the government to be formed as soon as possible and to continue the dialogue with Priština but that an agreement of all relevant political factors in Serbia that would be confirmed by parliament needed to be reached first.
Nikolić’s office stressed that “no individual, not even the president” can at the moment talk about long-term strategic issues that require a political consensus, adding that the president only wanted to warn that the situation was getting worse with every day without a new government.
Nikolić told reporters on Tuesday that Serbia needed a consensus on Kosovo which meant a common position on the level of the authority of the interim institutions in Kosovo and the lines that the state needed to stand behind.
He pointed out that the government and the opposition needed to reach a consensus on “what Kosovo is” and on the country’s attitude toward it.
Kosovo Albanian political analyst Azem Vllasi told Danas that Belgrade politicians, including Nikolić, had started to “realize the need that they should prepare Serbia for recognition and acceptance of the new reality regarding Kosovo” after Serbia got the EU candidate status.
“It is Nikolić’s duty right now to realize the reality and free Serbia from the burden of Kosovo. I see his statements on the necessary consensus on Kosovo in Serbia as positive,” he explained.
On the other hand, he believes that the Serbian president’s statement that “Kosovo president will also never be president in Kosovska Mitrovica” is “completely off mark”.
“Mitrovica is Kosovo’s local self-government. The Serbian president should not give statements that hide territorial pretenses because the issue of borders has been resolved and nobody in the Balkans can play with the opening of the subject,” Vllasi was quoted as saying.
Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS) provincial official Zvonimir Stević said that he expected the “new state structures, parliament, the president and the government to seriously deal with a plan and a strategy for Kosovo”.
He pointed out that Belgrade “needs to tell Serbs in the entire Kosovo, both south and north of the Ibar River, what they should expect in the future”.
Democratic Party of Serbia (DSS) Main Board member and MP Marko Jakšić says he finds the president’s statement “very strange” bearing in mind that he as a Serb Radical Party (SRS) deputy leader at a rally in 2008 swore that he “will not rest until he gets Kosovo back to Serbia”.
Analyst Ognjen Pribićević says that the statement does not represent anything new when compared to the policy of the previous government, adding that the West will go much further in their requests.
“The Western countries will certainly request from the new government to stop financing the institutions in northern Kosovo and Metohija, meaning they will expect (Ivica) Dačić’s cabinet to be much more constructive than (PM Mirko) Cvetković’s. Otherwise, we cannot hope for the financial aid from the West, that denied the money to the outgoing government,” he explained.